Theatre Ghosts and Hauntings

 
Arthur Bourchier

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Garrick Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Known for his dislike of critics, Bourchier now haunts the rear of the theatre, often appearing just after a performance, or making his presence known by tapping people on their backs.


 
Fading Lady

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Peacock Theatre (was Royalty Theatre), Dean Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Lady circa 1934, Dolphin from 1980s onwards?
Further Comments: A woman clothed in an outfit dating from the Queen Anne period is reported to descend the staircase here, slowly fading before she reaches the bottom. A short scream is said to signify her complete disappearance. The female ghost has not been seen as of late, and appears to have been replaced by the sound of a phantom dolphin which, during life, was kept in a small tank under the stage in the 1930s).


 
Trench Trooper

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Coliseum, St Martin's Lane
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: 03 October 1918
Further Comments: A small group of friends out for an evening's entertainment observed a man they knew walking down an aisle of the theatre, but he quickly disappeared from view. They later discovered that he had been killed in trench warfare around the time they saw him. He has been seen in the same area periodically since.


 
Usherette

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1972
Further Comments: This figure, seen walking along the aisles of the theatre, was killed by a bomb dropped by a zeppelin in World War 1.


 
Anna Pavlova

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Palace Theatre, Cambridge Circus
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The debate to whether the ghostly ballerina to be found here is really Pavlova is still in motion. The building's other entity, Ivor Novello, died in 1951 but still watches performances from the back of the dress circle. Two seats are left unfilled during performances for the ghosts, although during the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child run, the seats were sold as normal.


 
Violet Melnotte

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Duke of York's Theatre, St Martin's Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1935 onwards,
Further Comments: The builder of the theatre, Violet was known to watch the performances from her own personal box. After her death in 1935, a presence could be heard from within her seating area, and her phantom spotted in the green room in 1967.


 
Unknown Woman

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Vaudeville Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: Box office staff regularly smell a heavy herb-like perfume around them and backstage staff report noises and presences. A workman reported briefly seeing the feet of a woman and the bottom of a cloak pass him by (the rest of the person was obscured) after the building was closed for the night.


 
Grey Woman

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Fortune Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s onwards
Further Comments: Home to the stage play The Woman in Black, the theatre is ironically also haunted by a grey lady who was spotted in a lower box. Two shadowy figures have also been observed standing to the right of the stage.


 
George

Location: Westcliff on Sea (Essex) - Palace Theatre, currently an arts centre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: George has been reported sitting next to patrons during performances - they claim to have felt someone take up position next to them, though the entity remains invisible while seated. George is said to be the theatre manager who hanged himself from the fly floor due to financial difficulties just after the building opened in 1912. A white woman has been seen in the building, but it is generally agreed that these are two different forces, rather than the same ghost.


 
Lighting Operator

Location: Winchester (Hampshire) - Theatre Royal (was the Market Hotel)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1910s
Further Comments: An apparition was seen dressed in combat clothing. A witness identified the ghostly soldier as a former lighting operator who worked at the theatre before going off to die on a World War One battlefield. The builder of the theatre, John Simpkins, is also said to haunt the building.


 
Percy Purdey

Location: Wolverhampton (West Midlands) - Grand Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid to late twentieth century?
Further Comments: A former theatre manager and creature of habit; for years after his death Purdey could be heard mixing himself a drink in the bar after the start of every performance.


 
Actress in Grey

Location: Worthing (Sussex) - Connaught Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1987 and September 2015
Further Comments: The apparition of this actress wears a grey dress, though its style has been placed in several periods - maybe dependant on the different roles she played during life..? She was most recently observed in 2015, wearing a long dress and stood behind a door.


 
Music

Location: York (Yorkshire) - Theatre Royal, St. Leonard's Place
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Music coming from the closed theatre was once heard late at night. A grey figure resembling a nun has also been spotted in the building; she is thought to be the ghost of a nun who was bricked up alive for seeing angels when a hospital existed on the site. It is said to be a good omen for any production currently showing if the grey nun appears. Finally, there are also reports of a wraithy actor who died in a duel nearby.


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